Bins not collected after dispute over social distancing

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Wirral refuse workers stopped work today after raising concerns over a lack of social distancing measures.

The refuse workers are employed by Biffa Waste Services, which provides refuse collection on behalf of Wirral Council.

Wirral Council said they were working with Biffa to make sure essential waste collections resumed as soon as possible.

Bins were not collected in many streets.

A Wirral Council spokesperson said: “It is our understanding that all the health and safety measures currently in place for Biffa crews in Wirral are in line with national guidelines for key workers from the waste industry, as set out by the Waste Industry Safety & Health Forum.

“Households which were due a collection today (Tuesday) but have not received it should leave their bins out as crews work to catch up. All other residents due a collection this week should put their bins out on their normal collection day by 7am and leave it there until collection crews can reach you. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience as we work to keep essential services running as smoothly as possible during this difficult time.”

Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard said: “For over a fortnight Unite has been trying to ensure that Biffa introduced measures to protect our members and they have failed to do so. We have been calling for an urgent meeting to find a safe workable solution to our member’s health concerns, but these calls have been ignored.

“Our members have informed us that enough is enough and they will not continue to have their health and the health of their families placed at needless risk.

“Residents of the Wirral will be alarmed that their refuse workers, who are playing a key worker role, are being treated with such disregard.

“Other councils and contractors have introduced measures to ensure social distancing, it is not rocket science and Biffa must take immediate measures to ensure the safety of its workforce.”

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